I’ve been smoking since I was 14. I’m 23 now, so that’s almost nine years. I’ve only ever quit for a month before. I found it almost impossible to quit smoking. I used patches, I used patches and gum together, but I couldn’t not have a cigarette for the whole day. That was the hardest thing. That’s what I was looking forward to, coming here.
When I came here 10 weeks ago, I was smoking 30 a day. I was smoking rollie cigarettes and all my friends are smokers as well. I would see smoking as coming hand-in-hand with this substance abuse and alcohol abuse as well.
I knew I couldn’t smoke here and they said I should try and cut down beforehand. It was quite confronting on the first day. Then on the second day it was like, “OK, no more cigarettes, no more ‘I’m feeling stressed, I’m going to have a cigarette’, like none of that anymore. I’m going to have to deal with everything without tobacco”.
I do consider myself an ex-smoker now. I still use NRT—2 milligram chewing gum—maybe twice a week at most. That’s usually only whenever I’m around that environment or if I’m super stressed out or something.
I feel like I can quit again if I do take up smoking. I feel like I’ve proven to myself that it’s something that is possible to do. It is possible to actually not be addicted. That’s the main accomplishment that I feel. It is being able to beat an addiction, whether maybe bomb, ice, alcohol, heroin or cigarettes.
They teach you the same skills here that you can apply to the other substances and alcohol. It works with cigarettes as well. It’s just a matter of being able to accept that cigarettes and substances and alcohol are going to be in the world. They are going to be all around you but you don’t have to feel like you have to use them or you don’t have to feel like you have to push them away. You can just sit with them and accept that it’s there, but know that you don’t need it.